OCALA, Fla. - Deputies with the Citrus County Sheriff's Office arrested a man and charged him with second-degree murder and aggravated battery. Witnesses say the shooting happened during a drug deal and may have been self defense, but authorities here say they are still investigating what led to the 24-year-old woman's death.
The shooting happened early Sunday morning outside a home in Floral City. Richard Morales was there, and heard the gunfire that left Deseray Bowles dead.
"I just think she was an innocent bystander, just a ride, gave some other girls a ride here," said Morales.
Investigators say Bowles was driving a car when she was shot, and with the help of a passenger, managed to steer a short distance to the Sleepy Hollow restaurant and bar nearby.
Richard Bass owns the place and says his security cameras caught the car pulling up and others inside getting out before emergency crews arrived.
"Scary. I did think it happened here, to start off. It turned out it wasn't, it happened about a half-mile away," said Bass.
Bass says he showed up for work Sunday morning and saw a massive manhunt around his business.
"They had airboats, helicopters, they had the dogs out here."
Tips led authorities to the man they were looking for. Early Monday morning, they found Gregory Holub at a motel in Ocala.
Morales says he knew those involved including the alleged shooter. But he says Holub may have been protecting himself from someone inside the car who was also armed.
"He's not that type of person, for him to do that, I knew there was more to it," said Morales.
Bowles died at Citrus Memorial hospital, and now that Holub is in custody, many in the neighborhood where the shooting happened are relived.
"A lot of people around here, probably couldn't sleep, because they didn't know if he was still out and around because they said he was armed and dangerous. It keeps you a little spunky at nighttime when you don't know," said Bass.
Holub is a convicted sex offender who was released from prison about six months ago.
Authorities say so far there is no evidence of self defense. A K9 searching the area led them to a gun. They are still testing to see if it's the murder weapon.